“Jahana Hayes is someone who is not just pro-teacher but has a hands-on understanding of what goes into our profession, the things we need to be successful, and the challenges we face. She has the ability to be really advantageous for us,” says Zach Blain, an East Haddam teacher and the president of his local association.
Blain was among a group of CEA members learning about political activism and organizing at CEA’s Summer Conference this year. The group learned the ins and outs of advocating for pro-public education candidates when they went door knocking for Hayes, a former CEA member and the 2016 National Teacher of the Year. CEA has endorsed Hayes, who is running for Congress in Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District.
Summer Conference attendees Fairfield teacher Marion Richards, Portland teacher Jerome Manning, Glastonbury teacher Miles Lubben, and CREC teacher Jesecia Miller visited CEA members who live in Cheshire this week to get the word out about Jahana Hayes, the Waterbury teacher and 2016 National Teacher of the Year who is running for Congress.
East Hartford teacher Tracey Lafayette door-knocked in North Haven yesterday with Pennsylvania UniServ Rep Justin Battalini (at left) and Massachusetts Regional Manager Victor Rosado.
What’s the biggest issue in your school or district for you as a teacher? How can your union help support you?
These were some of the questions posed to CEA members in New Haven County yesterday afternoon and evening as teacher union members and staff knocked on doors at educators’ homes.
Members and staff from NEA affiliates around the Northeast are gathered in New Haven this week for an organizing institute. The institute focuses on helping emerging leaders gain skills to build relationships and strengthen their local Associations. Door-knocking at CEA members’ homes was both a way to practice those new skills and find out what’s on teachers minds as they prepare to head back to school shortly.
CEA members and staff discuss what they learned from members while door-knocking.
Though the institute ends tomorrow, the focus on organizing for locals here in Connecticut continues. Local leaders who have held one-on-one conversations with members have found them to be a very effective way to gather information, identify teachers’ concerns, and ultimately effect positive change for members.
If your local Association is interested in organizing training, or any other training from CEA, contact your local president or UniServ Representative.